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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lexicon Valley Review

This is not a paid endorsement and no money, gifts, or favors exchanged hands. This is my opinion, unswayed by any outside influences.

I'm a word geek--a lot of writers are. I particularly enjoy linguistics and even took an entry level course while I was in college. I'm fascinated particularly be regionalisms. The most well known one is pop vs soda vs Coke vs something else. There's even a website showing this (I'm firmly in the "pop" camp). And the New York Times had a great quiz that pinpointed my Minnesota roots easily.

I was listening to an audio book about where words come from and the lecturer mentioned a podcast called Lexicon Valley which talked about related topics. I knew I had to check it out.

It is largely an enjoyable show, although I haven't loved all the episodes. I downloaded every episode and they've had a lot of gaps that lasted for a while--not something I particularly like because once I get caught up, I'm going to want a new episode every week.

They've talked about R dropping (like in Boston/NYC) and it's going away. They talked about swearing and the use of "dude," and if it's okay to end a sentence with a preposition (it is), and languages going extinct. I'm not even halfway through all the episodes yet and look at all the word-geek topics I've listened to!

Most interesting of all, though, was when they talked about language changes that we don't really notice (like the progressive tense). Yes, changes can be that subtle, but once it was discussed on the show, it was so obvious.

The podcast is free to listen to--it's supported by advertising--and the topics are usually interesting, although the joy of podcasts is that you can skip anything that isn't good or stop and delete episodes you don't like.